Making plans for next year

I’m filling in my 2021 diary, making plans for next year – I’m an optimist- determined to bring some balance to my life.

2020 did not bring the opportunity to spring clean the attic, clear cluttter, redecorate the entire house or learn Swedish. Neither did I sit back and reevaluate during lockdown. School life, if anything was busier than usual. The box of tulip bulbs in the garden shed that has been awaiting planting since October is a testament to that.

So what of 2021? More walking, more cooking, more gardening, directing a play, more family time, home improvements maybe finally getting that part in The Archers and, God willing, everyone staying healthy. All these are going in the diary before work commitments. Today’s first step was to pot up some paperwhites (finally) and to order these fragrant beauties for the garden – two more daphnes, a Carolina allspice and a winter honeysuckle.

Aftrr all, teaching is just a job. There. I’ve said it. Probably for the first time in my life. It’s what 2020 has taught me.

Cold Moon Rising

Pic- Country Living

Tonight is The Full Cold Moon, so called because after tonight the temperature should start to drop rapidly. It is also known as The Oak Moon and Yule Moon – the final Full Moon of the year and one of the brightest Moons of the year.

Let it be a time of release, of letting go and being our authentic selves. For me that means admitting that I have been exhausted and disillusioned by the constant demands on and criticism of teachers this year. Heaven knows we don’t do the job to be thanked, but in 2020 it has been a Sisyphean task.

The Cold Moon brings an opportunity to be positive, open, ambitious and tuned into an inner strength that will pull you through anything. It is also a time to look back on the year passed and reflect on all the lessons we have learned and the people who have come and gone in our lives. Periods of self-reflection are vital; they are energizing and transformative and they provide an opportunity to sweep away the negativity, relax and allow yourself to move into to a new year with hope.

So as you gaze up at the Cold Moon, I hope you find blessings, meaning and hope in the coming year.

The Christmas Chronicles Part VI – All is quiet on New Year’s Day

 

My timeline is full of people congratulating themselves for having taken down the Christmas decs and given the house a thorough clean ready for the new year. My day is less fraught with activity. The tree still graces a corner of the kitchen and the Christmas candles are throwing a rosy glow over proceedings. Today’s activity is firmly rooted in my plans for the coming season.

There was a year when I spend a few carefree hours turning the compost but as a nod to the damp weather, today’s activity is cerebral. A pile of seed catalogues are lined up on the dresser awaiting perusal – although my seed merchants of choice are online – Higgledy Garden and Real Seeds. I like their ethos and seed germination rates have been excellent over the last few seasons.  I’ve made a list (unusual) and among the abundance of cut flowers this year I am making room on the plot for some purple podded climbing beans, heritage lettuce and purple carrots. I’ve also plumped for field beans ‘Wizard’  rather than broad beans. Only two of the household are fans and these are hardy. A more organised woman would have sown them back in October but teaching is so often an all-consuming activity and so a few will be sown now and the rest later. I still have tulips to get in the ground, after all!!

If you want to make this year a better one than last then you’d do well to spend more of it in the garden. This is a good place to start with #five new year’s resolutions for gardeners. It’s American and written in 2012 but those of you who have followed this blog for a while or subscribed to Our Flower Patch will be familiar with the principles. I’m going to take my own advice because 2018 is already shaping up to be busy with the children being variously occupied with driving tests, university applications, GCSEs, county rugby and a production of Goodnight Mister Tom to direct, thirty years of marriage to celebrate and the usual frenzy of life at the chalkface.

And after the seed order is in I will continue with my pile of new books (reviews to follow) and a spot of baking.

Simple pleasures.

The Turning of the Year

mincemeat 1942 style

picture from Local Morsels

I love this time of year – that inbetween time between Christmas and New Year when nothing much is happening.

The year has turned; the days are lengthening and although Spring is a long way off, it WILL  come.

Time to settle down in front of the fire with the seed catalogues and a notepad and make plans for the coming year.

There are lots of exciting projects to look forward to on the plot in 2013 and now is the perfect time to mull them all over.

Have a peaceful and productive New Year.

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